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Biden and his chances for the second term

Author : Kostiantyn Sonin

Source : 112 Ukraine

Foreign policy failures in the first term of the American president, even if they are accompanied by casualties and occupy screens for several weeks, do not interfere with re-election for a second term
23:27, 21 September 2021

U.S. President Joe Biden
Associated Press.

Reagan was easily re-elected after the deaths of two hundred Marines in Lebanon, Clinton quietly after the failure of the operation in Somalia. Nevertheless, after the unsuccessful exit from Afghanistan, the level of support for Biden dropped quite sharply, and is not returning back. A powerful third wave of Covid-19 and slower-than-expected growth also contributed to this decline.

Of course, it is too early to really assess Biden's chances in 2024. We can assume that they are rough, like any president, 50% +. Will they be worse or not, it will become clear very soon, in September-October - it depends on whether Congress will support a package of expansion of social assistance and tax increases of 3-3.5 trillion (the infrastructure package in 1 trillion, which has already been agreed and supported by the Senate). Why is it important? For two reasons. First, this is really the last major package of Biden's first term: in 2022, the Democrats will lose their majority in the House of Representatives (this was very likely even before the current drop in Biden's rating). Secondly, a package of this size will further boost the economy + in 2024 it will be possible to scare the voter with the fact that the Republican president will take away preschool education and other popular elements of the package.

Related: Biden's Afghan catastrophe: Who is now boss in Central Asia?

The difficulty is that the Democrats have a very small majority in both chambers. In the Senate, the alignment is 51-50, that is, each Democrat senator has the right to veto, and the centrists use this lever with might and main. In the House of Representatives, the Democrats have 8 more deputies, and the centrists are scared to vote for leftist legislation. If the president was popular among independent voters (about a third), they could count on it in 2022. But his popularity in this segment has fallen sharply, and they have to rely only on themselves - that is, to shift to the center, that is, to vote against. In 1994, in the same situation, a large-scale health care reform failed. In 2021, the situation is more "polarized" - over the past years, congressmen, even the most centrist ones, have become much more likely to vote with the party.

Biden's support level is now 45%. Polarization is saving him (as it has saved Trump) from being challenged in the primary within his party. In 1968, 1980, and 1992, such intra-party challenges undermined the presidents' positions - and they were not re-elected. If there is a challenge or Biden himself decides not to be re-elected, then, apparently, there will be an open season: many Democratic candidates will have chances for nominations. Kamala Harris was a weak candidate in the 2020 primary, and it’s not clear why she would have any particular advantage if Biden is gone in 2024.

Related: Macron, Biden to negotiate on submarines issues

An important force that will keep Biden as a candidate, even if he loses popularity further, is the chance, big, that former President Trump will be the Republican nominee. He is very, very - like no former president in history seems to be - popular with Republicans and, by circumstantial evidence, is gearing up for yet another race. Separate voices persuade him to be elected Speaker of the House of Representatives in the event of a Republican victory in 2022 and to preside over the impeachment of Biden, who, of course, will also be acquitted by the Senate, but this, in my opinion, is too much even for Trump. But he can become a candidate-2024. And this is exactly the case when the unpopular Biden will have very good, more than 50+, chances than Trump. The unpopular Biden could lose to many other Republican candidates, but not Trump - no matter how bad the independent voters may treat him, they treat Trump even worse.

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